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updated: 2/21/2015 8:02 AM

New Naperville collection center ready for hazardous waste

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  • Video: Hazardous waste collection


The line to drop off household hazardous waste in Naperville is about to get shorter.

At 9 a.m. today, the city's new $1.2 million drop-off facility will open to accept materials such as antifreeze, fertilizer, cleaning solutions, oil and batteries from anyone who visits the collection center at 156 Fort Hill Drive.

Fire department Capt. Rick Zakaras said the line to drop off such hazardous materials at fire station No. 4, the previous collection location, usually kept people waiting for 45 minutes as technicians removed and sorted items from their vehicles at the curb. Now, with the opening of the 6,000-square-foot collection center, Zakaras hopes to decrease that wait time to about 20 minutes.

"The most convenient thing is we have more room to bring materials in to sort them than we did in our previous facility," Zakaras said.

The center is one of four in the state that accepts hazardous waste year-round, and state money helped it get built.

Before cutting a ribbon strung between two blue barrels Friday afternoon, Naperville Mayor George Pradel thanked the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for a $900,000 grant that covered more than 75 percent of the building's cost.

He said the facility will help "provide a more sustainable world for our residents and neighbors" because people from as far away as Bloomington and Springfield have come to Naperville to dispose of hazardous materials.

The Naperville collection center is farthest south of the four in Illinois, as others are in Gurnee, Chicago and Rockford. Between May 2013 and April 2014, the collection point at fire station 4 accepted 266 tons of hazardous waste.

City Manager Doug Krieger said demand for safe disposal options is increasing as residents become more environmentally conscious and dedicated to recycling.

"We project that our collection will increase significantly," Krieger said.

Two off-duty hazardous materials technicians from the Naperville fire department will staff the facility during its opening day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along with two assistants to greet drivers as they arrive. Regular collection hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.